Churchill: How to bet the $11,512 Super High 5 carryover

June 29th, 2024

Saturday’s stakes-packed card at Churchill Downs kicks off on a high note. Race 1 isn’t a stakes—it’s a $50,000 claimer—but it does feature an $11,512 carryover in the $1 Super High 5.

Eight horses have entered the 1 1/16-mile dirt contest for non-winners of two races. Five sophomores will face off against a trio of older horses, and it’s difficult to separate the top contenders because their Brisnet Speed ratings are similar and generally unremarkable.

Consider morning line favorite #2 Dr Kringle (3-1), who rallied to finish second by three-quarters of a length over this track, distance, and class level on June 8. For the second straight race, the five-year-old gelding earned an 84 Brisnet Speed rating, three points lower than the par winning number for Saturday’s conditions. Dr Kringle is a logical contender, and he may even win, but there are a couple of chinks in his armor. First, he’s a stretch runner at the mercy of the pace. Second, he’s 1-for-15 lifetime and may be more likely to settle for a minor award.

So who might be capable of springing a surprise? Certainly three-year-old #6 Montevallo (9-2) is worth a long look. While he misfired in a $50,000 starter allowance last time out, finishing seventh, he’s previously carved out the pace in a 1 1/16-mile $30,000 starter allowance at Churchill Downs before staying on to finish third with an 83 Brisnet Speed rating. That matched the number he posted when finishing second in a 1 1/16-mile $50,000 claimer against fellow three-year-olds at Keeneland three starts back. Montevallo’s tactical speed could come in handy since Saturday’s field doesn’t contain much pace on paper.

We’ll also mention #8 Hitting Bombs (6-1), who is returning from a nearly 16-month layoff. The five-year-old gelding was last seen rallying to win a 1 1/2-mile maiden special weight on turf at Gulfstream Park, but he also has decent dirt form on his record. Back in 2021 he finished second in a pair of maiden special weights over the Churchill main track, earning Brisnet Speed ratings of 85 and 84. Trainer Brian Lynch wins at a 25% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, and Hitting Bombs enters off a bullet five-furlong workout in :59 at Churchill, so don’t count Hitting Bombs out of the mix while dropping into the claiming ranks for the first time.

So what if we play Montevallo and Hitting Bombs on top while counting on Dr Kringle to finish either second or third? That sounds like a viable path to assembling a winning Super High 5 ticket.

  • $1 Super High 5: 6,8 with 2 with 5,6,7,8 with 5,6,7,8 with 4,5,6,7,8 ($24)
  • $1 Super High 5: 6,8 with 5,6,7,8 with 2 with 5,6,7,8 with 4,5,6,7,8 ($24)
    Total: $48

Good luck!